Serving a Probation Order
The Probation Order is an agreement between an offender and the Court, monitored and supervised by a Probation Officer. A Probation Order is made instead of a sentence and provided that the probationer keeps to the terms of the Order and works with the supervising officer to change their behaviour, the Court will not impose any further penalty for the offences which the person has admitted or been found guilty of.
A first appointment will be made to take place within 7 working days of the Order being made. The Probation Officer will ensure that the Probationer understands the requirements of the Order and the limitations to confidentiality, as well as the Service’s data protection policy.
While on a Probation Order, probationers are required to attend all appointments as directed. The officer will also make home visits.
The probationer will be subject to a work plan, which will reflect the supervision plan outlined in the Social Enquiry Report (SER), if one was prepared, and will reflect the risk / needs assessment tool and Service standards. The plan should make reference to the probationer’s level of Basic Skills. Appropriate interventions must be identified to address offending behaviour, needs, victim awareness and community reintegration. The officer may also liaise with other agencies, for example the Housing Department or Employment Services, to help the probationer achieve the objectives of the work plan. The work plans will be reviewed at least every three calendar months, or when the probationer’s circumstances change.
Throughout the course of the Order, probationers may also be required to work through the Core Programme – for more information on this please click here – or they may be required to attend other group-work programmes, including:
- Aggression Control Training
- Alcohol Study Group
- Self Management and Rational Thinking
- Offending is Not the Only Choice
- Adapt Domestic Abuse Prevention Training
- Sex Offender Treatment Programme
For information on these, please click here.
Any probationer who is deemed to be a significant risk to themselves or others will also be subject to RAMAS (Risk Assessment Management Audit System) or MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements). These are inter agency processes to assess and manage any risk the client poses to themselves and to the community.
Probationers will be instructed to notify their supervising officer in advance if they are unable to keep an appointment e.g. through illness or work commitment. Any unacceptable absence will be recorded, and will result in enforcement action, such as a warning letter or a return to court. Any further missed appointments will result in further action, for example a compliance meeting with either the Team Leader or a Manager or a return to court. If a probationer continues to miss appointments, they will be returned to court because they have not kept to the terms of their order and are making positive change unlikely. A return to Court is known as breaching the order.
Probationers can also be breached for a variety of other reasons such as leaving the Island without permission, disruptive behaviour on programmes, re offending or simply not engaging in the supervision process. The Court has the option of allowing the Probation Order to continue, changing some of the terms and conditions or sentencing the Probationer for the original offence(s) e.g by imposing a fine or a prison sentence.
For the Probation Standards document please click here.
For the Council of Europe Probation Rules please click here. All Probation Services in Europe come under these rules.
Picture: A Probation Officer interviews a client